Coup d'état

Coup d'état

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A coup d'état (ˌkuːdeɪˈtɑː, ku deta; plural: coups d'état; translation: strike (against the) state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

—to replace the deposed government with another body; either civil or military. A coup d'état succeeds if the usurper
Usurper
Usurper is a derogatory term used to describe either an illegitimate or controversial claimant to the power; often, but not always in a monarchy, or a person who succeeds in establishing himself as a monarch without inheriting the throne, or any other person exercising authority unconstitutionally...

s establish their dominance when the incumbent government fails to prevent or successfully resist their consolidation of power. If the coup neither fully fails nor achieves overall success, the attempted coup d'état is likely to lead to a civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

.

Typically, a coup d'état uses the extant government's power to assume political control of the country. In Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook
Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook
Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook is a history book by Edward Luttwak examining the conditions, strategy, planning, and execution of coups d'état.-Critical Response:...

, military historian Edward Luttwak
Edward Luttwak
Edward Nicolae Luttwak is an American military strategist and historian who has published works on military strategy, history and international relations.-Biography:...

 says, "A coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder", thus, armed force (either military or paramilitary) is not a defining feature of a coup d'état.

Etymology


Although the coup d'état has featured in politics since antiquity, the phrase is of relatively recent coinage; the Oxford Dictionary identifies it as a French expression meaning a “stroke of State”. In 1646, James Howell used the phrase in the book Louis XIII; the first English usage dates from 1811, referring to Napoleon Bonaparte's deposing the Revolutionary Directory in 1799. Prof. Thomas Childers, of the University of Pennsylvania, indicates that the English language's lacking a word denoting the sudden, violent change of government derives from England's stable political traditions and institutions. French and German history are coloured with such politico-military actions.

Since the unsuccessful coups d'état of Wolfgang Kapp
Wolfgang Kapp
Wolfgang Kapp was a Prussian civil servant and journalist. He was a strict nationalist, and a nominal leader of the so-called Kapp Putsch.-Early life:...

 in 1920 (the Kapp Putsch
Kapp Putsch
The Kapp Putsch — or more accurately the Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch — was a 1920 coup attempt during the German Revolution of 1918–1919 aimed at overthrowing the Weimar Republic...

), the Swiss German word Putsch ' onMouseout='HidePop("49374")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Züriputsch">Züriputsch
Züriputsch
The Züriputsch of 6 September 1839 was a putsch of the rural conservative population against the liberal rule of the city of Zürich on the eve of the formation of the Swiss federal state. The reason for the putsch was the appointment of the controversial German theologian David Strauss to the...

 of 1839) also denotes the same politico-military actions: in Metropolitan France, putsch denoted the 1942 and 1961 anti-government attacks in Algiers, and the 1991 August Putsch in the USSR; the German equivalent is Staatsstreich (the German literal translation of coup d'état), yet a putsch is not always a coup d'état, for example, the Beer Hall Putsch
Beer Hall Putsch
The Beer Hall Putsch was a failed attempt at revolution that occurred between the evening of 8 November and the early afternoon of 9 November 1923, when Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler, Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff, and other heads of the Kampfbund unsuccessfully tried to seize power...

 was by politicians without military support.

Usage of the phrase


Linguistically, coup d'état denotes a "stroke of state" (French: coup [stroke] d [of] État [state]). Analogously, the looser, quotidian usage means “gaining advantage on a rival”, (intelligence coup, boardroom coup).
Politically, a coup d'état is a usually violent political engineering
Political engineering
Political engineering is a concept in political science that deals with the designing of political institutions in a society and often involves the use of paper decrees, in the form of laws, referendums, ordinances, or otherwise, to try to achieve some desired effect within a society.The criteria...

, which affects who rules in the government, without radical changes in the form of the government, the political system.
Tactically, a coup d'état involves control, by an active minority of military usurpers, who block the remaining (non-participant) military's possible defence of the attacked government, by either capturing or expelling the politico-military leaders, and seizing physical control of the country's key government offices, communications media, and infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

.
It is to be noted that in the latest years there has been a broad use of the phrase in mass media, which may contradict the legal definition of coup d'état.

Pronunciamiento



The Pronunciamiento (Pronouncement) is a Spanish and Latin American type of coup d'état. The coup d'état (called golpe de estado in Spanish) was more common in Spain and South America, while the Pronunciamiento was more common in Central America. The Pronunciamiento is the formal explanation for deposing the regnant government, justifying the installation of the new government that was effected with the golpe de estado. The difference between a coup and a pronunciamento is that in the former, a military faction deposes the civilian government and assumes power, in the latter, the military depose the civil government and install another civil government.

History



Coups d'état are common in Africa; between 1952 and 2000, thirty-three countries experienced 85 such depositions. Western Africa had most of them, 42; most were against civil regimes; 27 were against military regimes; and only in five were the deposed incumbents killed. Moreover, as a change-of-government method, the incidence of the coup d'état has declined worldwide, because usually, the threat of one suffices to effect the change of government; the military do not usually assume power, but install a civil leader acceptable to them. The political advantage is the appearance of legitimacy, examples are the collapse of the French Fourth Republic
French Fourth Republic
The French Fourth Republic was the republican government of France between 1946 and 1958, governed by the fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Third Republic, which was in place before World War II, and suffered many of the same problems...

, and the change of government effected in Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

, on 3 August 2005, while the president was in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

.

Types


The political scientist Samuel P. Huntington
Samuel P. Huntington
Samuel Phillips Huntington was an influential American political scientist who wrote highly-regarded books in a half-dozen sub-fields of political science, starting in 1957...

 identifies three classes of coup d'état:
  • Breakthrough coup d'état: a revolutionary army overthrows a traditional government and creates a new bureaucratic elite. Generally led by mid-level or junior officers. Examples are China in 1911
    Xinhai Revolution
    The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

    , Bulgaria in 1944
    Bulgarian coup d'état of 1944
    The Bulgarian coup d'état of 1944, also known as the 9 September coup d'état and called in pre-1989 Bulgaria the National Uprising of 9 September or the Socialist Revolution of 9 September was a change in the Kingdom of Bulgaria's administration and government carried out on the eve of 9 September...

    , Egypt in 1952, Turkey in 1960, Greece in 1967, Libya in 1969, Portugal in 1974
    Carnation Revolution
    The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

     and Liberia in 1980.
  • Guardian coup d'état: the "musical chairs
    Musical chairs
    Musical chairs is a game played by a group of people , often in an informal setting purely for entertainment such as a birthday party...

    " coup d'état. The stated aim of such a coup is usually improving public order and efficiency, and ending corruption. There usually is no fundamental change to the power structure. Generally, the leaders portray their actions as a temporary and unfortunate necessity. An early example is the coup d'état by consul Sulla
    Lucius Cornelius Sulla
    Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix , known commonly as Sulla, was a Roman general and statesman. He had the rare distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as that of dictator...

    , in 88 B.C., against supporters of Marius
    Gaius Marius the Younger
    Gaius Marius Minor, also known in English as Marius the Younger or informally "the younger Marius" , was the adopted son of Gaius Marius, who was seven times consul, and a famous military commander. Appian first describes him as the son of the great Marius, but in a subsequent passage, he is...

     in Rome
    Roman Republic
    The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

    , after the latter attempted to strip him of a military command. A contemporary instance is the civilian Prime Minister of Pakistan
    Prime Minister of Pakistan
    The Prime Minister of Pakistan , is the Head of Government of Pakistan who is designated to exercise as the country's Chief Executive. By the Constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan has the parliamentary democratic system of government...

     Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

    's overthrow by Chief of Army Staff
    Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army
    The Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army, shortly abbreviated as COAS, is the highest staff post in the Pakistan Army, held by the senior 4-star rank officer. It is the highest and most prestigious 4-star assignment, unless the 4-star officer is appointed as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of...

     General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
    Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
    General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq , was the 4th Chief Martial Law Administrator and the sixth President of Pakistan from July 1977 to his death in August 1988...

     in 1977, who cited widespread civil disorder
    Civil disorder
    Civil disorder, also known as civil unrest or civil strife, is a broad term that is typically used by law enforcement to describe one or more forms of disturbance caused by a group of people. Civil disturbance is typically a symptom of, and a form of protest against, major socio-political problems;...

     and impending civil war as his justification. In 1999, General Pervez Musharraf
    Pervez Musharraf
    Pervez Musharraf , is a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and tenth President of Pakistan as well as tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Musharraf headed and led an administrative military government from October 1999 till August 2007. He ruled...

     overthrew Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
    Nawaz Sharif
    Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif is a Pakistani conservative politician and steel magnate who served as 12th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from November 1990 to July 1993, and from February 1997 to October 12, 1999...

     on the same grounds. Nations with guardian coups can frequently shift back and forth between civilian and military governments. Example countries include Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    , Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     (1971 and 1980), and Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

    . A bloodless coup
    Bloodless Coup
    Bloodless Coup is the fifth studio album by Irish band Bell X1. It was released on 1 April 2011 in Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, on 4 April in the United Kingdom, and on 5 April in North America....

     usually arises from the Guardian coup d'état.
  • Veto coup d'état: occurs when the army vetoes the people's mass participation and social mobilisation in governing themselves. In such a case, the army confronts and suppresses large-scale, broad-based civil opposition, tending to repression and killing, such as the coup d'état in Chile in 1973
    Chilean coup of 1973
    The 1973 Chilean coup d'état was a watershed event of the Cold War and the history of Chile. Following an extended period of political unrest between the conservative-dominated Congress of Chile and the socialist-leaning President Salvador Allende, discontent culminated in the latter's downfall in...

     against the elected Socialist
    Socialist Party of Chile
    The Socialist Party of Chile is a political party, that is part of the center-left Coalition of Parties for Democracy coalition. Its historical leader was the late President of Chile Salvador Allende Gossens, who was deposed by General Pinochet in 1973...

     President Salvador Allende Gossens by the Chilean military. The same happened in Argentina
    Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

     throughout the period 1930-1983. The 20 July 1944 plot by parts of the German military to overthrow the elected National Socialist government of Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

     in Germany is an example of a failed veto coup d'état.


A coup d'état is typed according to the military rank of the lead usurper.
  • The veto coup d'état and the guardian coup d'état are effected by the army's commanding officers.
  • The breakthrough coup d'état is effected by junior officers (colonels or lower rank) or non-commissioned officers (sergeants). When junior officers or enlisted men so seize power, the coup d'état is a mutiny
    Mutiny
    Mutiny is a conspiracy among members of a group of similarly situated individuals to openly oppose, change or overthrow an authority to which they are subject...

     with grave implications for the organizational and professional integrity of the military.
  • In a bloodless coup d'état, the threat of violence suffices to depose the incumbent. In 1889, Brazil became a republic via bloodless coup; in 1999, Pervez Musharraf
    Pervez Musharraf
    Pervez Musharraf , is a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and tenth President of Pakistan as well as tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Musharraf headed and led an administrative military government from October 1999 till August 2007. He ruled...

     assumed power in Pakistan via a bloodless coup; and, in 2006, Sonthi Boonyaratglin
    Sonthi Boonyaratglin
    General Sonthi Boonyaratglin is former Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army and former head of the Council for National Security, the military junta that ruled the kingdom. He is the first Muslim in charge of the mostly Buddhist army...

     assumed power in Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

     as the leader of the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy
    Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy
    The Council for National Security or, in brief, CNS , formerly known as the Council for Democratic Reform or, in brief, CDR , also translated as the Council for Democratic Reform under the Constitutional Monarchy, was the name of the military regime that governed Thailand following the 2006...

    .


The self-coup
Self-coup
A self-coup or autocoup is a form of coup d'état that occurs when a country's leader, who has come to power through legal means, dissolves or renders powerless the national legislature and assumes extraordinary powers not granted under normal circumstances. Other measures taken may include...

 denotes an incumbent government — aided and abetted by the military — assuming extra-constitutional powers. A historical example is President, then Emperor, Louis Napoléon Bonaparte. Modern examples include Alberto Fujimori, in Peru, who, although elected, temporarily suspended the legislature and the judiciary in 1992, becoming an authoritarian ruler, and King Gyanendra
Gyanendra of Nepal
Gyanendra Shah was the last King of Nepal. During his life, he has held the title of the King twice: first between 1950 and 1951 as a child when his grandfather Tribhuvan was forced into exile in India with the rest of his family; and from 2001 to 2008, following the Nepalese royal massacre.King...

's assumption of “emergency powers” in Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

. Another form of self-coup is when a government, having been defeated in an election, refuses to step down.

Resistance to coups d'état


Many coups d'état, even if initially successful in seizing the main centres of state power, are actively opposed by certain segments of society or by the international community. Opposition can take many different forms, including an attempted counter-coup by sections of the armed forces, international isolation of the new regime, and military intervention.

Sometimes opposition takes the form of civil resistance
Civil resistance
The term civil resistance, alongside the term nonviolent resistance, is used to describe political action that relies on the use of non-violent methods by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and...

, in which the coup is met with mass demonstrations from the population generally, and disobedience among civil servants and members of the armed forces. Cases in which civil resistance played a significant part in defeating armed coups d'état include: the Kornilov Putsch
Kornilov Affair
The Kornilov Affair, or the Kornilov Putsch as it is sometimes referred to, was an attempted coup d'état by the then Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army, General Lavr Kornilov, in August 1917 against the Russian Provisional Government headed by Alexander Kerensky.-Background:Following the...

 in Russia in August 1917; the Kapp Putsch
Kapp Putsch
The Kapp Putsch — or more accurately the Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch — was a 1920 coup attempt during the German Revolution of 1918–1919 aimed at overthrowing the Weimar Republic...

 in Berlin in March 1920; and the Generals' Revolt in Algiers in April 1961. The coup in the Soviet Union on 19–21 August 1991 is another case in which civil resistance was part of an effective opposition to a coup: Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

, President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, stood on top of a tank in the centre of Moscow and urged people to refuse co-operation with the coup.

Post-military-coup governments


After the coup d'état, the military face the matter of what type of government to establish. In Latin America, it was common for the post-coup government to be led by a junta
Military junta
A junta or military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term derives from the Spanish language junta meaning committee, specifically a board of directors...

, a committee
Committee
A committee is a type of small deliberative assembly that is usually intended to remain subordinate to another, larger deliberative assembly—which when organized so that action on committee requires a vote by all its entitled members, is called the "Committee of the Whole"...

 of the chiefs of staff of the armed forces. A common form of African post-coup government is the revolutionary assembly, a quasi-legislative body elected by the army. In Pakistan, the military leader typically assumes the title of chief martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 administrator.

According to Huntington, most leaders of a coup d'état act under the concept of right orders: they believe that the best resolution of the country's problems is merely to issue correct orders. This view of government underestimates the difficulty of implementing government policy, and the degree of political resistance to certain correct orders. It presupposes that everyone who matters in the country shares a single, common interest, and that the only question is how to pursue that single, common interest.

Current leaders who assumed power via coups d'état

Title Name Assumed office Country Area of the World
Sultan
Sultan of Oman
-List of Imams :-Nabhan Dynasty :-Ya'ariba Dynasty :-Banu Ghafir Dynasty :-Ya'ariba Dynasty :-Al Said Dynasty :-See also:...

 
Qaboos of Oman
Qaboos of Oman
Qaboos bin Said Al Said is the Sultan of Oman and its Dependencies. He rose to power after overthrowing his father, Said bin Taimur, in a palace coup in 1970. He is the 14th-generation descendant of the founder of the Al Bu Sa'idi dynasty.-Early life:...

*
23 July 1970  Oman Middle East
President  Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is an Equatoguinean politician who has been President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979. He ousted his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in an August 1979 military coup and has overseen Equatorial Guinea's emergence as an important oil producer, beginning in the 1990s...

 
3 August 1979  Equatorial Guinea Sub-Saharan Africa
President  Blaise Compaoré
Blaise Compaoré
Blaise Compaoré has been the President of Burkina Faso since 1987 following a coup d'état that ousted then-President Thomas Sankara. In 2011, a mutiny by soldiers over unpaid housing allowances forced him to flee the capital for his hometown...

 
15 October 1987  Burkina Faso Sub-Saharan Africa
President  Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir  30 June 1989  Sudan Sub-Saharan Africa
President  Idriss Déby
Idriss Déby
General Idriss Déby Itno is the President of Chad and the head of the Patriotic Salvation Movement. Déby is of the Bidyat clan of the Zaghawa ethnic group. He added "Itno" to his surname in January 2006.-Rise to power:...

 
2 December 1990  Chad Sub-Saharan Africa
President  Yahya Jammeh
Yahya Jammeh
Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh is the President of The Gambia...

**
22 July 1994  The Gambia Sub-Saharan Africa
Emir  Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani* 27 June 1995  Qatar Middle East
President  François Bozizé
François Bozizé
François Bozizé Yangouvonda is the President of the Central African Republic. He came to power in March 2003 after leading a rebellion against President Ange-Félix Patassé and ushered in a transitional period of government...

**
15 March 2003  Central African Republic Sub-Saharan Africa
Acting Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Fiji
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji is the head of government of Fiji. The Prime Minister was appointed by the President under the terms of the now-suspended 1997 constitution....

 
Frank Bainimarama
Frank Bainimarama
Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, CF, MSD, OStJ, Fijian Navy, known commonly as Frank Bainimarama and sometimes by the chiefly title Ratu , is a Fijian naval officer and politician. He is the Commander of the Fijian Military Forces and, as of April 2009, Prime Minister...

 
5 December 2006  Fiji South Pacific
President  Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz
General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is a Mauritanian politician, currently serving as President of Mauritania...

***
6 August 2008  Mauritania Sub-Saharan Africa
Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

 
Mohamed Hussein Tantawi  11 February 2011  Egypt Middle east
President of the High Transitional Authority  Andry Rajoelina
Andry Rajoelina
Andry Nirina Rajoelina , born May 30 1974, is the former mayor of Antananarivo who became transitional head of state of Madagascar on March 21, 2009 after the 2009 Malagasy political crisis....

 
17 March 2009  Madagascar Sub-Saharan Africa

* Monarchs who overthrew their own fathers.

** Both Jammeh and Bozizé were subsequently confirmed in office by apparently free and fair elections. The election confirming Jammeh was marked by repression of the free press and the opposition. An opposition leader described the outcome as a "sham".

*** Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz
General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is a Mauritanian politician, currently serving as President of Mauritania...

 was subsequently confirmed by a narrow margin in the Mauritanian presidential election, 2009
Mauritanian presidential election, 2009
A presidential election was held in Mauritania on 18 July 2009. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who led the 2008 coup d'état, won a narrow first-round majority in the election, according to official results...

, which were regarded as "satisfactory" by international observers.

Other uses of the term


The term has also been used in a corporate context more specifically as boardroom coup
Boardroom coup
A boardroom coup is the sudden overthrow of the management or governing body of a corporation by an individual or small group of individuals, usually from within the company.-Notable examples:...

. CEOs that have been sacked by behind-the-scenes maneuvering include Robert Stempel
Robert Stempel
Robert Carl Stempel was a former Chairman and CEO of General Motors . He joined GM in 1958 as a design engineer at Oldsmobile and was key in the development of the front-wheel drive Toronado...

 of General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

 and John Akers of IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

, in 1992 and 1993, respectively.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc...

 attempted management coups twice at Apple Inc.; first in 1985 when he unsuccessfully tried to oust John Sculley
John Sculley
John Sculley is an American businessman. Sculley was vice-president and president of PepsiCo , until he became CEO of Apple on April 8, 1983, a position he held until leaving in 1993...

 and then again in 1997 which successfully forced Gil Amelio
Gil Amelio
Gilbert Frank Amelio is an American technology executive. He grew up in Miami, Florida and received a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and Ph.D. in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology...

 to resign.

See also


  • Assassination
    Assassination
    To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

  • Civil-military relations
    Civil-military relations
    Civil–military relations describes the relationship between civil society as a whole and the military organization or organizations established to protect it. More narrowly, it describes the relationship between the civil authority of a given society and its military authority...

  • Contrast with civilian control of the military
    Civilian control of the military
    Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P...

  • Coup de main
    Coup de main
    A coup de main is a swift attack that relies on speed and surprise to accomplish its objectives in a single blow. The United States Department of Defense defines it as:The literal translation from French means a stroke or blow of the hand...

  • Dictatorship
    Dictatorship
    A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

  • Kleptocracy
    Kleptocracy
    Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest...

  • List of fictional revolutions and coups
  • List of protective service agencies
  • Military dictatorship
    Military dictatorship
    A military dictatorship is a form of government where in the political power resides with the military. It is similar but not identical to a stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military....

  • Political corruption
    Political corruption
    Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

  • Political warfare
    Political warfare
    Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one's will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between one's government and a target audience to include another country's government, military, and/or general population...



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